World Environment Day: Oyetola warns Osun residents against environmental degradation
Gov. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun has called on the people of the state to refrain from acts capable of undermining environmental sustainability.
Oyetola gave the warning at a tree planting programme, organised to commemorate this year’s World Environment Day, on Friday in Osogbo.
The governor said that his administration would take proactive steps against those in the habit of encroaching into government’s forests for unlawful activities.
“We are prepared to invoke the full weight of the law on anyone caught engaging in illegal land clearing for farming, uncontrolled logging, gathering of firewood and deforestation,” he said.
The governor also said that anyone caught engaging in indiscriminate or ill-planned bush burning, high population rate, degradation of the environment occasioned by illegal mining and illegal hunting for bush meat would be dealt with.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s celebration, “Biodiversity”, Oyetola said that biodiversity was essential to human development, because “it is the foundation that supports all the lives on land and below the waters.”
The governor, who decried the poor environmental management culture, noted that on a global scale, biodiversity was being lost at higher rate than that of natural extinction.
He said that illegal land clearing for farming, uncontrolled logging, deforestation, bush burning and high population rate were among the factors affecting biodiversity conservation in the state.
Oyetola expressed his administration’s commitment to tree planting in order to reverse the situation.
Earlier in his address, the state Commissioner for Environment and Sanitation, Mr Sola Oladepo, said that nonchalant attitude towards biodiversity conservation in the past had culminated in massive degradation of forest reserves in the state.
Oladepo said that the state government was ready to plant one million trees across the state. (NAN)